October 7, 2000 by Gary Mortenson
Minnesota native takes home $300,000 - largest payday in walleye fishing tournament history
GREEN BAY, Wis. - Despite some of the worst weather of the tournament and a prolonged battle with a catfish, Scott Glorvigen of Grand Rapids, Minn., was able to overcome all obstacles and walk away with the first-ever Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship.
Recording a three-fish weight of 11 pounds, 1 ounce, Glorvigen took home a whopping first-prize check of $300,000 as well as some invaluable exposure and well-deserved accolades.
"This has been just the greatest week. I didn't think this would ever happen," said a visibly jubilant Glorvigen. "This sport has just grown up so much. It's approached a level that no one could have ever dreamed of."
After Glorvigen had finally secured victory, he entertained the crowd by jumping into the air with arms raised. His twin brother also joined him on stage - congratulating his more fortunate sibling while engaging him in a heart-felt bear hug.
However sweet the victory, Glorvigen admitted that it did not come easily. Nor did it come without a crazy story.
"About the fifteenth cast I hooked into a catfish and I'll tell you, I almost had to change my shorts," said Glorvigen as the crowd burst into laughter. "But throughout the day, I stuck to my plan and I guess it paid off. My goal was to be consistent throughout."
John Campbell of West Dundee, Ill., who led the tournament field going into the final day, took home a second-place check for $65,000. Campbell said he had a difficult time with the strong winds and decreasing water levels.
"I really did struggle today. My crankbait bite wasn't as good and my jig bit was really off," said Campbell, who recorded a final-day catch of 9 pounds, 9 ounces. "I went for hours wondering whether or not I was going to get my limit. It was really tough conditions out there."
Patrick Byle of Colgate, Wis., took third place with a catch of 9 pounds, 7 ounces and received a check for $32,500. Although Byle admitted that it wasn't his day, he said he enjoyed the entire experience.
"I never did get that last fish," he said. "But it was a lot of fun. And I can't think of anything else I enjoy doing more. It's been fantastic - we've been treated like royalty."
John Nelson of Wahkon, Minn., who finished fourth with a total catch of 8 pounds, said that he lost too many big fish to really make a run at the championship.
"I had a lot of fish come off," Nelson said. "And I donated a lot of crankbaits to the Fox River. So if any of you are walking along the shoreline and you see some (crankbaits), those are mine.
"But everybody in the entire Green Bay community has been fantastic. It's been a lot of fun."
Mike Gofron of Antioch, Ill., who hauled in a 7-pound, 10-ounce catch, said the lower water levels really hurt his chances.
"The water wasn't deep enough and that sort of hurt me," said Gofron. "And when the wind started to pick up, the fishing got more difficult. I managed to scrape together three fish, but it wasn't enough."
Jason Przekurat of Stevens Point, Wis., the tournament leader after day two, said that few things went his way during the all-important final round.
"I was just one of those days," said Przekurat, who only managed one fish weighing 1 pound, 13 ounces. "Nothing really went right for me. I threw back a couple of 17-inch fish back and I lost two fish in a row. I just wasn't my day."
However, Przekurat said that the experience was rewarding nonetheless.
"To get to this point and be fishing right along side all of the guys I used to watch on television has been just unbelievable," he said.
ESPN2 is scheduled to air a telecast of the $1.4 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship on Dec. 31.
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